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Three charged with murder, torture of girl
VICTORVILLE • The San Bernardino County District Attorney's office charged an Adelanto father and his girlfriend with the murder and torture of his 4-year-old daughter, whose body was found in a shallow desert grave.
Ronald Dean Greer Jr., 21, and Bianca Annie Mae Stanch, 19, were arraigned in Victorville court Wednesday. They pleaded not guilty to the murder and torture of Samiah Christine Cornell Downing and assault on a child causing death.
Judge Lorenzo Balderrama appointed conflict panel attorneys for the couple. Stanch indicated she has money to retain a private lawyer.
Rayshawn Laurice Stanch, Bianca Stanch’s 26-year-old cousin, was also charged with the felonies. He was transported from jail to the Victorville courthouse later than the other two defendants and also pleaded not guilty.
The defendants appeared in green jump suits, which indicated they were in protective custody. The judge set their bail at $1.25 million.
About a dozen family members of the victim and defendants attended the arraignment. They declined to talk to the Daily Press on Wednesday.
According to the District Attorney's complaint, the crime occurred on or about Dec. 15.
Sheriff’s officials began to investigate the disappearance of Downing on Dec. 27. They interviewed Greer and Bianca Stanch and searched their former residence in Adelanto.
Following the interview, investigators found Downing’s body in a shallow grave near Baker. The three defendants were arrested Friday. Greer and Rayshawn Stanch were on probation at the time.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jodi Miller said she doesn’t have information about the motive.
Deputy District Attorney Bryan Stodghill said he can’t comment on the facts of an ongoing case. Investigation is ongoing, he said.
A Facebook page titled “Samiah Christine Downing Memorial” was created Saturday in honor of the victim. It contains numerous photos and videos of Downing along with messages of support and information about the case’s developments.
While the page does not explicitly state who created it, several messages from the page identify Downing’s family members. One comment from the page’s creator reads “This is her aunty” and another “I’m her papa,” before thanking those who left messages of support and condolence.
In addition to the memorial page, an online fundraiser has been created on FundRazr to raise money for Downing’s funeral and $95 has been raised so far.
“She was a loving and caring baby,” said one message from the page’s moderators. “She would say thank you to each and every one of you who posted, donated on her page.”
Rayshawn Stanch was convicted of possession of drugs on Aug. 8. He also has misdemeanor battery and felony assault with a deadly weapon convictions in San Bernardino County.
Greer was convicted of misdemeanor theft and vandalism on April 2011.
If convicted, each defendant could face up to 57 years to life in prison, according to Stodghill.
They are next scheduled to appear in Victorville court on Jan. 10 for a pre-preliminary hearing.
Tomoya Shimura may be reached at (760) 955-5368 or TShimura@VVDailyPress.com. Follow Tomoya on Facebook at facebook.com/ShimuraTomoya.
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